29 September 2021
Kahu Aroha Report on Oranga Tamariki
“Now is the time to begin the process of giving control back to Māori”
The much anticipated report, ‘Kahu Aroha’ detailing three overarching recommendations to be implemented by Oranga Tamariki by February 2022 has triggered an immediate response from the National Māori Authority, a claimant before the Waitangi Tribunal Urgent Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki Wai 2915 in 2020.
The sequence of “blueprint” changes outlined in the 81 page report and action plans released today canvas restoration, devolution, and governance.
The report indicates the need for a coordinated role to partner with Māori to strengthen communities on the ground. Such a strategy is absent currently. Rangatira Māori say it is critical for the changes to be successful and sustainable.
“It sounds like a promising way forward. We tautoko Kahurangi Naida’s tireless mahi into this report. However, this cannot be a perpetuation of a master-servant relationship. We must have true partnership with the Crown given 67% of tamariki in care are Māori,” says Lady Tureiti Moxon, Chair National Urban Māori Authority.
“Oranga Tamariki has always had the ability to support parents who need help, then return their children once they have had the support they need. But many times they do not give our Māori children back so my continued focus is to eradicate State interference and abolish without notice section 78 uplifts,” Lady Tureiti says.
Now it is time for Māori structures to provide the support to whānau in need, instead of the state that has punished and judged whānau Māori. Given that 60 to 70 percent of children in State care are Māori, National Urban Māori Authority continues to advocate that 60 to 70 percent of the resources should go to Māori.
Alongside Lady Tureiti, wahine Māori leaders, Dame Naida Glavish, Dame Tariana Turia, Dame Iritana Tāwhiwhirangi, Dame Areta Kopua and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Chair of Whānau Ora have been staunch advocates for the need to transform the Ministry.
“A fix up from within is not the answer. How this is implemented operationally is the litmus test given the organisational culture within has proven to be inherently racist. We are resolute in our position that the answer lies with our Iwi, hapu, whānau communities who wish to look after our own and be strengthened by the Crown to do so,” says Lady Tureiti.
“Māori have our own structures that can support our own whānau that need support – substantive evidence in the Waitangi Tribunal shows Oranga Tamariki already relies heavily on them already. So now is the time to begins the process of giving control back to Māori structures.”
The bolstering of governance to ensure Oranga Tamariki upholds its responsibilities and undertakings is viewed as an absolute must by the National Urban Māori Authority and Moxon.
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